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WOT: The downfall of the series

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I havent read many fantasy series but even when reading the harry potter series i noticed the sense of doom coming for harry potter with so many major characters dieing off and the dark side actually being scary, then in WOT the forsaken hasnt done one decent thing in this age, and they were supose to be the most feared and powerful aes sedai of the aol. Also no major characters have died besides verin since i cant even remember. Do you think this series would have been better if 1 or 2 major characters would have been killed off? it just seems like the light are in to good of a spot now and everyone alive, im not even fearful for the light that they will lose.

 

For example in HP you had dumbledoor, sirius half the order etc all killed off before the final book, lord of the rings you lost a few major characters, ASOIAF you got several killed off.

 

thoughts?

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Guest Emu on the Loose

Wheel of Time doesn't have a "downfall." It's a solid fantasy tale. In my opinion, it's closer to mediocre than excellent, but in no way is it a failure. I don't really see the point of coming to a Wheel of Time board to try and gin up support for hating on Wheel of Time.

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Besides Boromir, LoR doesn't really feature any main characters getting killed off as far as I remember.

 

There's a fair amount of depravity and suffering caused by the forsaken--just take a look at the Seanchan homeland. There's a fair amount of depravity caused by the Dark One--look at all the people starving to death, etc.

 

It's just that the HEROES are protected and, ultimately, heroic, like in many stories where the reader is invested in the characters and doesn't want them to die.

 

In some cases, killing off a hero can be powerfully moving (e.g., Sturm's death in dragonlance); however, unless you're G. R. R. Martin, I think keeping the heroes alive is defensible and even outright desirable. It's a story and we're invested in the characters (even if there is hate by some people for some of the characters for various reasons).

 

Would it establish greater threat? Possibly, it would for sure make the threat hit 'closer to home,' but I'm cheering for the heroes and want them to get those bad guys. I don't want to see the good guys die.

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Well I wouldn't have been all that pleased if a major character died in WoT, but having said that it would have made it more believable. I didnt even believe that Moiraine died when she fell through the door frame.

 

It would have been more interesting if at least the Chosen were actually frightening. At the least they could have captured some of the heroes and tortured them (before they revealed their evil plots and the hero escaped & saved the day). Killing Elayne or Aviendha wouldn't have changed the series too much and would have been a definitive curveball no one would have seen coming.

 

A battle of Hero vs Forsaken were they both killed each other would have been fitting. ie: Avi duked it out with Lanfear or Graendal and they both balefire eachother or what have you.

 

Perrin could definitely have been 'axed'. His dream abilities + being able to call a bunch of wolves to help = Not interesting enough to warrant staying around to win the LB. What would have been way more interesting would be if someone like Aginor captured Perrin and tortures him to what we believe is his death, but really he experimented on him and turned him into a crazy darkhound dreamer psycho killer.

 

Then either his death or his salvation would have been exciting.

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I definitely wouldn't say it's the downfall of the series as I still see it as a great series. However, to me it is undoubtedly the weakest point of the series. At least a few major characters should have died creating more shock, sadness and more importantly suspense. At the moment all the main characters feel invincible. Ideally I think one of the three ta'veren should have died plus one of the wonder girls and a few more important characters.

 

I certainly hope at least a couple of main characters die in AMOL. Perrin for some reason has always struck me as a character who is destined to be killed of.

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Well it's hard for a ta'veran to die simply. I realise some of the major's arent this though.

If you have a look at the world from book 4 or so. They are all civil war and starving ALL the time. Everyone except them is dying :P.

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Hold the post-mortum until the last book hits.

 

According to the authors, the Shadow is up big time, it's the winter of our whatnot, etc... This doesn't often seem clear, especially with some of the second string villains and the heroes posing heroically at the end of almost every book in triumph that sometimes costs a few redshirts and the occasional named character. Supposedly there's a point to all the randomish stuff that's been going on for 1000s of pages lol.

 

Next year we find out if the trip was worth it or we should have gotten off somewhere mid-way through LoC...although ACoS has a bunch of great chapters in a row while I'd chop a lot of the Carhien section out of tGH :)

 

Also thought about fixing that split infinitive, but that doesn't make the wording any less awful. *Flips coin to decide whether to delete post*

Edited by Cybertrolloc

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Besides Boromir, LoR doesn't really feature any main characters getting killed off as far as I remember.

One might count Gandalf, but he got better.

 

Anyway, while WoT is not a perfect series, and there are undoubtedly ways in which it could be improved, I don't see character death as a way of automatically improving a work simply by being there - indeed, handled badly it could easily make things worse. So, in reply to the OP, I have to say that no, I don't think the series would be better off for killing 1 or 2 main characters. For one thing, there are many interesting things that can be done to living characters. I really don't see the fascination with character death, as if it was some sort of mark of quality. I'd say if there is no atmosphere of doom, no sense that the Light is losing, I'd say there's a deeper problem than just no-one dying. After all, death won't necessarily provide these things, and they can be achieved in ways other than killing people.

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im not even fearful for the light that they will lose.

 

 

I can't say I'm very fearful that the "good guys" will lose, either. Be it WoT or any other fantasy book. :tongue:

 

I wouldn't have minded if Moiraine had stayed dead, that would have been a nice twist, but then of course we always knew she was coming back.

 

On the other hand, many of the bad guys don't stay dead so I guess, as was mentioned above, that we will have to wait to pass judgement until after AMoL.

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Hmm...

 

Although you all have a point, you are wrong! Lol.. jk.

I do understand that some see the major Lightsided people never dying as a downfall, something that makes the books less exciting and so on. But it all comes down to purpose of the characters, how plot is driven and what you personally enjoy.

 

I for one, love books where the conflict is internal. I love to see my characters struggle internaly with decisions, see them change, and grow, make mistakes, I love them being pushed, tormented and tortured internaly. Nothing like an angsty one! Sure a death of a character could be interesting and create alot of tension, but then they are dead, gone.

Death isn´t the only way to create tension, conflict and excitement.

 

I would rather be beaten then dead... and I´m sure all of the WoT characters agree. Except Moridin but he was always an oddball.

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Wheel of Time doesn't have a "downfall." It's a solid fantasy tale. In my opinion, it's closer to mediocre than excellent, but in no way is it a failure. I don't really see the point of coming to a Wheel of Time board to try and gin up support for hating on Wheel of Time.

i love the series, i mean by what its missing everyone below you understood but you......

 

ever since book 5 ive pretty much knew no one is going to die since i knew there were 11 books out, so what ever situation they get in i know the main characters are going to survive, look at harry potter nobody saw dumbledore's death coming and when he died you were like WTF, i havent had a wtf moment in WOT or been worried for a character, except im scared of what will happen to cadsuane since shes my favourite and brandon hates her.

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Why do characters have to die to make the books good? Some books and/or other artistic outlets handle character deaths extremely well and their implications, and I agree, that's great. But I don't think it's necessary, or even always appropriate. WoT already has so much death, destruction and angst that if one of the main characters died I think it would just be too dark. I also think it might have distracted from the main "dark" storyline of the books which is of course Rand.

 

I mean, it's not like the main characters are immortal. They've almost all had brushes with mortality, including Rand.

 

As for the Forsaken doing nothing... really? They very almost drove the Dragon Reborn to destroy creation. They've instigated wars and battles between men which have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands who should have been fighting for the Light. They split the White Tower, and through the split prevented reconciliation between AS and the Dragon. They've turned the most powerful force of Channelers - the Asha'man - in the Westlands into a nest of Darkfriends. Every book has literally been the main characters putting out fires that the Foresaken have already caused considerable damage with. Just because our heroes score (often pyrrhic) victories in the end, you don't win a war by constantly being on the defensive.

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Well the argument is valid. Lets face it, none of he major characters die and everyone of them is basically super human. They are all either the most powerful channeler in 3000 years, blademasters, war Gods, gamblers, the wolves and dreams, etc...

 

Basically all the main characters are also the most powerful in the series. Even young they manage to defeat and outplay the best of the forsaken who supposedly have way more experience and knowledge to draw on.

 

At the end of the day though I think the series has worked just fine as it is. IMO though RJ missed a huge oppurtunity. I think he set up Perrin in a way that could have been absolutel epic and would've become my all time favorite character - ever. I got to think RJ was either teasing up or was hinting at a possible cross-over with Perrin. He was totally geared for going over to the shadow. He could have been the first named Dreadlord. Think about it. How many ways did he make itknown he would do ANYTHING for Faile. How many times did he even straight out say he would let Rand, the light, and anyone die for her. I think RJ could have made him cross over to the dark side and it would've been epic. Never that I can think of had we seen such a character, one we all knew from so many books actually turn bad like that. It would have been absoluely amazing IMO. It would also have really made the other forsaken seem more real and believable.

 

So basically I think RJ really missed the boat on Perrin. I think that character could've been used in a better way. Imagine the conflict of say Mat having to face off against his former friend.

 

As far as no major characters deaths...well....they sure do suffer alot. I am not sure any series I have read has had the characters suffer so much but again, the fact that after all these books and all these adventures, that not a single one of them has died does IMO take away from the story.

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I wouldn't have minded the survival of all the main characters if all of them hadn't narrowly avoided death at least 10 times already (Rand probably 50 or more). Not to mention that the Darksiders has had them at their mercy so many times and failed to capitalise. I know it's fantasy and it even has an in-world justification with ta'veren and the Pattern, but it's still too much for me. It's implausible, and worse, really reduces the tension. "Main character got captured by the evil guys AGAIN - oh, well, soon he'll be free thanks to the incompetence of the villains". All the prophesies don't help in this respect either - most key characters can't die yet since there are still unfulfilled prophesies about them. Unless the DO wins , but we all know this won't happen.

 

No wonder the main characters are so reckless most of the time, they've avoided death against all odds so many times they feel invincible.

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Well, they may not have died, but they have suffered...

 

Rand: The Taint, wounds that does not heal, loosing his hand, knowing he's got to die. beeing forced into strangle his girlfriend, going nuts on his father... ect ect...

Mat: Loosing friends to the Golem, getting crushed by a brick-wall, loosing an eye

Perrin: moaning about his woman, beeing bullied by his woman...humm loosing his new bff (jumper-wolf)

 

 

oh and btw, I would not have minded if Harry Potter had died in the first book, would have saved us from the rest of the books.

Edited by Ogrelin

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Besides Boromir, LoR doesn't really feature any main characters getting killed off as far as I remember.

 

Isn't the entire Lord of the rings trilogy about the length of one Wheel of Time book? Because that will explain why.

 

I love the plot armour of Mat, Rand and Perrin. Being ta'veren - brilliant was of handling it. For the other characters though - yeah, some needed to die just to make the Forsaken look competent. I definitely think that the Wheel of Time series has gone downhill over time but more than anything I'd say it was down to the emphasis on minor characters and stories (the succession in Andor for example)more than the plot armor of pretty much every character that gets a PoV.

 

Aside from the ta'veren characters really needed to die. It says a lot when the most emotional death in the series for me is Hopper. :P

 

Deaths aren't necessary for a good story. However, I do think they are necessary in such a long story, just to make you fear the evil side.

Edited by Threepy

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In no way should anyone compare Ice & Fire to WOT. For one WOT will be finished(despite a dead author), I have my doubts as to whether I&F will be. For another Ned and Robb were to honourable to live anyway so they really shouldn't count. The Foresaken were evil and scary in the AOL because they had unbelievably advanced technology and knowledge. It's as if Adolf Hitler or Osama were sent back 3 millinia. They were evil and destructive before they died but would they be the same in 1,000 BC.

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After reading these arguments, it's clear that someone must be sacrificed to make the series better.

 

I think that the best thing for it is to have Egwene die, at her wedding.

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After reading these arguments, it's clear that someone must be sacrificed to make the series better.

 

I think that the best thing for it is to have Egwene die, at her wedding.

 

Lol. I don´t think Egwene is gonna be sacrificed though, she is too... good...

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Ah, yes, character deaths. One of my favorite topics to complain about. I think I'll start with the forsaken.

As many here have mentioned, the Chosen have wreaked havoc on the world...kind of. We don't actually see any of their supposed horrendous acts. It all happens off screen, so it comes off as kind of irrelevant. I just don't care. Their wicked works are pushed off into the distance, to be whispered about, but never experienced, and then, of course, they get killed off in anti-climactic battles against opponents less than 1/10 their age. Can anyone here name one character, even minor, that the forsaken have killed? Can you name one act committed by any of the forsaken that had you thinking "Woah, these guys are actually dangerous!"? I can't.

 

Look at Fain, he killed Perrin's entire family, gave Rand a permanent scar injury, we've witnessed is shocking, terrible works, and he's still alive! The Golam killed Nalesean, Lopin, and several other secondary characters, characters we cared about.

Scar...Scar killed Hopper(the bastard!!).

Our main villains, the forsaken, have done....umm...uh...I guess Ishamael managed to stab rand, the sheepherder, in the side. Y'know, because he couldn't have just balefired him from afar. Semirhage blew off Rand hand, too. I guess that's pretty impressive, for a Chosen. All in all, the minor villains(so far) have really outshined the major ones, imo. The Dark One doesn't count, lol.

 

Now, on to character deaths. As I've mentioned before, they give a series a sense of danger. For example, the Golam had killed off several secondary characters, so in their fight against it/him, I was genuinely afraid for Talmanes's life. I was also slightly worried for Hopper, and what'd'ya know?

Rand get's hurt regularly, so naturally every time he's in a battle, there's an uncertainty, y'know, like, what's he gonna lose next? I know he can't die, but he can at least get hurt. Really hurt. The rest of our characters don't have even that. Just killing one main character would really change the feel of the books, it would make the battles more entertaining, and the series as a whole more enjoyable. I think it's worth it, ending a character's plot-line prematurely, for those results.

 

Look at ASOIAF, how many POV characters did he actually kill? Just one, and yet it seems like nobody's safe. So I kind of agree with the OP, the "bad guys" not being scary is a major downfall of a otherwise decent series, but having great secondary villains, and plenty of secondary character deaths kind of makes up for it. Oh, and our main character going through all the crap that he does...although, I must confess, I always looked forward to Rand suffering, I found it thoroughly enjoyable, it really helped to calm my burning hatred for him. laugh.gif

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Ah, yes, character deaths. One of my favorite topics to complain about. I think I'll start with the forsaken.

As many here have mentioned, the Chosen have wreaked havoc on the world...kind of. We don't actually see any of their supposed horrendous acts. It all happens off screen, so it comes off as kind of irrelevant. I just don't care. Their wicked works are pushed off into the distance, to be whispered about, but never experienced, and then, of course, they get killed off in anti-climactic battles against opponents less than 1/10 their age. Can anyone here name one character, even minor, that the forsaken have killed? Can you name one act committed by any of the forsaken that had you thinking "Woah, these guys are actually dangerous!"? I can't.

 

Look at Fain, he killed Perrin's entire family, gave Rand a permanent scar injury, we've witnessed is shocking, terrible works, and he's still alive! The Golam killed Nalesean, Lopin, and several other secondary characters, characters we cared about.

Scar...Scar killed Hopper(the bastard!!).

Our main villains, the forsaken, have done....umm...uh...I guess Ishamael managed to stab rand, the sheepherder, in the side. Y'know, because he couldn't have just balefired him from afar. Semirhage blew off Rand hand, too. I guess that's pretty impressive, for a Chosen. All in all, the minor villains(so far) have really outshined the major ones, imo. The Dark One doesn't count, lol.

 

Now, on to character deaths. As I've mentioned before, they give a series a sense of danger. For example, the Golam had killed off several secondary characters, so in their fight against it/him, I was genuinely afraid for Talmanes's life. I was also slightly worried for Hopper, and what'd'ya know?

Rand get's hurt regularly, so naturally every time he's in a battle, there's an uncertainty, y'know, like, what's he gonna lose next? I know he can't die, but he can at least get hurt. Really hurt. The rest of our characters don't have even that. Just killing one main character would really change the feel of the books, it would make the battles more entertaining, and the series as a whole more enjoyable. I think it's worth it, ending a character's plot-line prematurely, for those results.

 

Look at ASOIAF, how many POV characters did he actually kill? Just one, and yet it seems like nobody's safe. So I kind of agree with the OP, the "bad guys" not being scary is a major downfall of a otherwise decent series, but having great secondary villains, and plenty of secondary character deaths kind of makes up for it. Oh, and our main character going through all the crap that he does...although, I must confess, I always looked forward to Rand suffering, I found it thoroughly enjoyable, it really helped to calm my burning hatred for him. laugh.gif

 

Lol this made me laugh. In a good way mind you. I think the problem with the Forsaken is that all that terrible things they did, mindcontrolling children, torturing people, mindfucks and blowing up cities happened in the AoL. So arguably, you want them to do badass Forsaken things now too, and actually see them. Not only hear about them. The Forsaken have killed lots of people... oh, the Seanchan royal family!

 

But conflict doesn´t need to be only physical/external although I kinda agree with you that more deaths, kidnappings and the like would have been nice. Seems Rand has suffered for alot of his friends too. But we don´t know who is gonna die in the end... I hope some will die tbh. Not all of our boys and girls can have a happily ever after.... I hope they can´t.

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Seems subtlety is not the Forsakens strength. Let them loose and having them attack is their forte. These guys are generals and tacticians. Be'lal had a good plan and was working. It just sucked for him that Moiraine knew balefire. Rahvin just underestimated Rand and did not have a full force to throw at Rand. Sammael - better plan, too bad Moridin wasn't helping. Semirhage was surprised at the amount of blood that could cover the Crystal Throne. She had Rand and how could she know the DO would let Rand, the champion of Team Light, use a Dark power to toast her. Ishamael is a philosopher - nuff said. Lanfear is blinded by potential power. Graendal got screwed because Slayer couldn't stop Perrin.

 

On top of that, for many years, the Forsaken were only a legend and we all know how legends grew after time passes. The tinkers are still alive and they get a bad rap for stealing children. The Forsaken were mortals subject to mortal thoughts and Rand and co. exposed them for what they are.

 

It reminds me about Myrddraals. They were big and bad in TEotW but for competent channelers and expert bladesmen, they can be overcome as shown in later books.

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